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“AMAZING!!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Vista de Olas

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Hotel Vista de Olas
Vista de Olas Dr. | Mal Pais de Cobano Apto.#93, Mal Pais 5361, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 10 hotels in Mal Pais
San Marcos, California
1 review
“AMAZING!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

This was one of the best vacations i've been on. Roger & family make you feel so comfortable! The views from the villas/ pool are breath taking. I highly recommend staying here!!! Thank you Roger! We will be back for sure!!!!

Room Tip: We stayed in villa 3 & loved it!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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266 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

I stayed at Vista de Olas for four nights for a belated honeymoon recently. The first few nights were nice enough; if you want to feel like you are at a Southern California surf hotel whilst in Costa Rica, then this place will do the trick. The views are stunning, the location wonderful. My husband and I noticed early on, however, that during the mediocre BBQ dinners, Roger would drink heavily starting in the afternoon/evening, and would go on presumably until after we had vacated the pool area, usually around 8.
The last night of our stay, I knew that we would be leaving early the next morning and wanted to pay the bill for our meals and excursions (luckily I used Living Social, so I was not responsible at that point for paying for the stay itself). At around 8:00, I asked Roger's wife for our bill. About 20 minutes later, she came out with a surprisingly large tab. I made the horrible mistake of asking Roger to help me break down the costs, and at this point he got irate, dropping profanities every other word, and insisting that he had already given us a good deal by doing us the favor of redeeming our Living Social voucher. He implied that we were cheap and ungrateful to inquire about our bill charges. Roger seemed to be escalating severely on his own, without provocation from myself or my husband, and I tried to keep the situation calm by letting Roger yell and vent without interfering.
After my debit card declined (I had forgotten that I had already taken out a good portion of the day's allotment of cash from an ATM), I payed with cash, giving Roger 130,000 colones ($260). Because I didn't have smaller bills, I should have gotten about 4,000 colones in change. Roger said at this point he would go get change. He stayed away for about 20 minutes, and when he returned he told us he could not remember how much cash we had given him because he was, in more polite terms, too drunk, and thus did not know to how much change we were entitled. I reminded him what I had payed him, sort of laughing it off, but also getting concerned at this point that the night would get messy in regards to Roger dealing with this transaction. He repeated this three more times, saying each time that he couldn't remember how much cash we had given him. Finally, he threw the change at us, making a nasty comment about us not leaving a tip (for what? Having to BBQ our own meat and eat preserved veggies at the hotel RESTAURANT?).
Shaken up, my husband and I went back to our villa. A few minutes later, we heard a knock. I assumed it would be Roger or someone to apologize for Roger's behavior. How wrong I was. It was Roger, claiming that we had not payed him anything. At this point, having endured an hour of Roger's drunken escapades with patience, I could not believe what was happening. When Roger showed us his empty pockets and asked us where the money was, I shut the door in his face. I don't know if he was trying to extort more money from us, or if he was legitimately so drunk as to forget that we had already payed him. Either way, it was unbelievable and unacceptable.
At this point, Roger started yelling obscenities at me and a staff member, Randal, came down from the pool to see what was happening. He told Roger to go upstairs, which he did, whilst still yelling insults at me the whole way to the pool area. My husband and I then discussed our options; we felt that Roger had exhibited the kind of aggression, which appeared to be the result of excessive alcohol consumption, that could have escalated into him physically attacking us. The property is remote, and, not having a cell phone that worked, we actually considered walking the 25 minute steep downhill unlit trip to town because we felt so unsafe at Vista de Olas. In the end, we barricaded our door with luggage and furniture to at least make us feel that if Roger decided to enter our room for further confrontation, we would be able to hear it well enough in advance to flee out of the open-air bathroom.
Having traveled extensively, this is by far the worst situation in which I have found myself. I'm sure that a stay at this hotel could have, and has for most visitors, gone smoothly. The key is: DO NOT APPROACH THIS MAN FOR A BUSINESS TRANSACTION IF HE APPEARS AT ALL INTOXICATED. It would be slightly more acceptable for a business owner to do this if they were a sociable, happy drunk. Roger, however, is a mean and aggressive person when drunk. He is the exact opposite of the constructed image of a care-free, laid-back surfer that he tries to exude when he is sober.
Roger, if you want to reply to this, here's a hint: grammar and spelling are easier to tackle when sober. I've noticed you have had some problems with these base elements of sentence construction in past replies.

I would not wish this travel misadventure upon my worst enemy. This hotel is awful, despite its gorgeous physical setting. It is the overwhelming negativity, irresponsibility, and lack of professionalism of the owner that make this beautiful place, as another reviewer noted, a sad waste.

A final note: Roger charges 7% surcharge on all credit card transactions. As far as I know, this is not legal and seems to be a method of discouraging guests, for whatever reason, from paying with credit card. This man wants cash, and as inconvenient as it is, I'm glad I was able to give him what he wanted, rather than get suckered into paying an additional 7% for this nightmarish experience.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013 via mobile

First off I have to say this is one of the best vacations my girlfriend and I have ever been on. Roger ( the owner,manager) is the most accommodating person you will ever meet. He not only makes you feel comfortable but also make you feel like vista is home to you. Along with him, the entire staff is phenomenal. The views of the beach are litterally the best in mal pais and we would know because we had a car to drive everywhere. Rogers sons Miley and Swen are two of the coolest people you will meet. They taught us how to surf, swen took us on an atv tour to a beautiful water fall, and both showed us a great time. If you are reading this review and are considering this resort, drop what your doing and book it right away. You will have so much fun and will not want to leave. To all the crew at vista de olas, thank you for the best we have ever had and I wish you all the best and will never forget any of you thanks again!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longmont
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Each large of the five well appointed villas is tucked into the lush, well maintained grounds and affords much privacy. The furnishings appear to be native woods and are simple and elegant. Enjoying the beautiful tile work in the open roofed, large bathroom area was a treat. The staff at Vista de Olas is very attentive and friendly. Incredible views from the pool area, Best sunsets in Mal Pais!

Room Tip: While all the villas have ocean views, I think Villa 3 has the very best.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Roger and the Crew were nothing short of amazing during this trip, Combine that with the beautiful views provided by the property and it was perfect. The small size of Vista de Olas really allows the staff to get to know you and help make your trip just right. It also allows you to be able to get to know the fellow guests as well. The tours and exursions were excellent. Well planned and organized, and alot of fun. The rooms were clean and in perfect order, the food was great and the service was first rate. Well worth a stay for any trip down to Mal Pais

Room Tip: Villa 3 probably has the best ocean view
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Argh - I'll never want a Christmas at home again!! Great location, great views, great room and outrageously great company. Our whole experience was brilliant - making new friends that feel like old ones, unexpected gifts from Roger and Heidi on Christmas Eve, surfing lessons, long long sunsets over the pacific and all the while laughter and good times. I read the reviews, booked the room and was delighted. I've entered the photo competition in the vain attempt to have an inescapable reason to go back!

Room Tip: We were in room 4 and very happy. So was everyone else!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Roger, Heidi and their two boys were outstanding hosts during our week long stay over Christmas. Vista de Olas had breathtaking views, intimate villas and was the perfect place to escape for a week. We spent 7 days/6 nights here and honestly didn't have 1 bad experience (aside from my wife getting a little seasick during our fishing excursion - I blame the brown bottle from the night before). We took advantage of a package that included fishing, an atv tour with an amazing waterfall stop, couples massages, horseback riding on the beach, canopy tour (zip-lining) and yoga (which we swapped for surfing). I recommend a package for anyone looking for some adventure. Roger has all the connections and makes life super easy for you. We met some great people from around the world, were able to disconnect from reality and relax and leave all our cares behind. Anything we needed above and beyond, Roger and his staff were quick to help. Looking forward to our next trip down to see our Tico friends...

Room Tip: Villa 3 was amazing
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Hotel Vista de Olas, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Thank you so much for everything. It was great meeting both you. Hope all of us get together one day and go for a ride here or in the US or better both. Your Tico friends regards the Vista Team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Vista de Olas

Also Known As:
Vista De Olas Mal Pais
Hotel Vista De Olas Costa Rica/Mal Pais
Address: Vista de Olas Dr. | Mal Pais de Cobano Apto.#93, Mal Pais 5361, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Mal Pais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Mal Pais
#3 Romantic Hotel in Mal Pais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vista de Olas is a refined hotel in Mal Pais perched on top of a peaceful hill. From this vantage point our guests are treated to sweeping views of Mal Pais and watch the most memorable sunsets. The hotel offers 6 sumptuous, secluded deluxe villas with ocean view, AC, open-sky bathroom, and private porch. Hotel amenities include fast WLAN, a luxurious infinity pool and jacuzzi, pool lounge, and the best BBQ restaurant in Mal Pais. ... more   less 
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